Remember that gossip from earlier in the year, about a new Honda “Super Rebel,” based on the CRF1100L engine? Well, the rumours are heating up even more, with Motorcycle.com’s keen-eyed journos spotting patent applications tipping the new bike.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office published two different patents showing a new Honda cruiser. One of the patents shows sensors in the new bike’s exhaust system; the other patent shows the bike’s rear suspension system. The engine in the patent drawings appears to be the same parallel twin that powers the CRF1100L Africa Twin; the rear suspension has dual piggyback shocks, differing from current Rebel models.
So, what’s the deal? While patents are never a guarantee of production, the rumours of a new, bigger Rebel have been floating around for months; Japanese magazine Young Machine predicted it first, and no mag has its finger on the Japanese industry better.
Honda’s still selling its Shadow cruisers in some markets, but in most of the world, it only sells the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 cruisers. The demand for traditional expensive American-style V-twins seems to be in decline, but people are still buying cruisers. With BMW re-entering the market in a big way with the R18, no doubt Honda sees its own chance to grab some sales. And why not? Honda made a lot of money building cruisers around parallel twins and inline fours in the past. Using an existing platform like the CRF1100L would keep costs down, and the Japanese manufacturers certainly like that idea these days.